India hosted their first-ever NBA game at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai in the form of a preseason contest between the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. The much-awaited clash went to overtime, with the Pacers edging past their opponents for a hard-fought 132-131 win eventually.
With both teams fielding their bonafide lineups, the 48 minutes of action proved to be a treat for the fans at the NSCI Dome. Moreover, the dramatic end was something that made the game even more memorable for all the Indians watching and hopefully sparked some much-needed domestic interest for the game amongst the youngsters as well who were in attendance.
In the first period, Pacers' Sabonis caught an elbow and bled his way off the court, only to return with a headband during the second quarter. Meanwhile, Indiana were trying to scrape their way back from the Kings stunning 11-0 run to start the game.
Let's draw out some key takeaways from this overtime classic, which will be followed by another matchup tomorrow.
#1 The drama-engulfed dying minutes of this epic battle were elite
After a high-scoring first half with the Kings carrying a comfortable 72-59 cushion, many would have expected a routine rally through the next couple of quarters in favour of Sacramento. However, Indiana dug deep, and with the help of TJ Warren's corner three and Myles Turner's clutch block, were able to force overtime in a game that had almost slipped from their hands.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Buddy Hield shot back-to-back threes and tied the game at 128-apiece in overtime. But there was more to come. Warren hit a 15-footer and Fox missed one of two FTs.
Eventually, the Kings found themselves with five seconds to overcome a three-point lead and Hield let it fly. The turnaround long-range attempt rimmed out and Bagley managed to tip it in before the clock expired, resulting in a heartbreaking one-point loss for Vivek Randive's team.